The Excitement Plan
Yep Roc Records
By Noel Wurst
I was 16 years
old when Snider’s first album, Songs for the Daily Planet, came
out. “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues”
was a hidden track on it (remember how awesome hidden tracks were?) and it was
the funniest thing I’d ever heard in my life.
I bought the album, and “Grunge” is the only song I remember ever
listening to more than one time. It’s
also still funny today.
This is the
relationship I’ve always had with Snider’s music. His newest album The Excitement Plan
is no exception. Snider’s storytelling
and wit can’t be denied, but his ability to compose an entire album of songs to
fall in love with has often been questioned. Like a countrified Leon Redbone, Snider delivers each song with such a
cool and composed delivery; his calming confidence unfortunately often trumps
the substance itself. I did find myself
nearly weeping at the melancholy beauty of “Corpus Christi Boy” – and was
disappointed to find out that this is actually a cover of a Robert Earl Keen
song. It’s the highlight of the album by
leaps and bounds, and is worth a listen whether you’re normally a fan of
Snider’s or not.
Along with Leon
Redbone, Snider constantly releases albums that are consistently no better or
worse than his previous releases. While
this cements a fan base that has always, and will always be devout listeners,
it’s not a strategy that’s likely to win over you casual fans along the way. His albums are always worth a listen; they’re
just not that often worth a purchase.